Struggling With Wrongdoing

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Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

  • Many young people complain that it is difficult for them to leave certain acts of disobedience. When they do manage to repent, they often fall into the same sin again. How are they able to repent sincerely?

Do not deem yourself incapable of repenting even if you keep committing the sin a hundred times a day. Do not forget that you have a Lord Who is completely aware of you. As long as you repent to Him sincerely He will see this, even if you keep repeating the same sin. He will rid you of this disobedience in due course, according to your sincerity.

You must never cut your connection to Him. Never believe what the Devil, your enemy, tells you. Do not say to yourself that there is no hope for me and that I will never be able to stop doing this. No! This is a ploy which your lower self and the Devil use to cut you off from your Lord.

Go back to Him in a state of remorse, and say: “O Lord, help me.” If you fall into it again, return to Allah with remorse once again, repent and resolve never to do it again.

When Allah witnesses your sincerity and persistence, He will have mercy on you. He will strengthen you and you save you from this act of disobedience, whenever He wishes.

Allah says: Those who, when they do something shameful or wrong themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and who never knowingly persist in doing wrong (Al-Imran, 3:135).

Distance yourself from the people, the places and the devices which cause you to sin.

Instead keep the company of the pious and make abundant remembrance of Allah. This will have an effect on you.

The following adhkar are particularly beneficial. Recite the following at least ten times a day:

هُوَ اللهُ الَّذي لا إِلهَ إِلا هو عَالِمُ الغَيْبِ والشَّهادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيم

Huw’Allahu’lladhi la ilaha illa hu, ‘Alimu’l ghaybi wash-shahadah, Hu arrahmanu’ rrahim

“He is Allah, there is no deity save Him, Knower of the unseen and the seen, He is the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.” (Al-Hashr, 59:22)

 

Recite this 100 times a day:

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لي صَدْرِي و يَسِّرْ لي أَمْرِي

Rabbi-shrah li sadri wa yassir li amri

“My Lord bring tranquillity to my heart and give me ease in my affair.” (Ta Ha 20:25-26)

 

All enabling grace is from Allah.

 

 

On Tasting the Sweetness of Worship

Hb in salat

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can I taste the sweetness of worship?

Not tasting the sweetness of worship is mainly due to the heart not being fully focused on Allah and being preoccupied by other than Allah. It may also be due to a veil in the heart such as pride or hatred for someone. By standing at Allah’s door and attempting to purify your heart, you will no doubt taste the sweetness of worship. `Utbah al-Ghulam said: “I forced myself to perform the night vigil prayer for twenty years until I tasted its sweetness.”

Getting the Better of Your Lower Self

habib-umar-bin-hafiz-surabaya-2014

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

My lower self (nafs) has got the better of me and I feel I cannot defeat it. What should I do?

Your lower self may have got the better of you temporarily but you can defeat it. The lower self or anything else cannot be a barrier to the one who seeks strength from the All Powerful. Imam al-Haddad said:

و النفس و الشيطان أعصيهما بقوة الله العلي العظيم

I go against my lower self and the Devil through the power of Most High, the Most Great

Were man not able to overcome his lower self, Allah would not have commanded him to purify it and strive against it. No matter how much it overcomes do you, do not think that it will defeat you. Rely upon Allah and you will get the better of it.

Do Your Sins Cut You Off From Allah?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Do your sins cut you off from Allah?

Your sins cut you off from Allah when you are content to commit them and refuse to leave them. If, however, you feel remorse and have a sincere resolve to leave them they do not cut you off.

Know Your Enemy

Extracts from a lesson given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him) in the tafsir of Surat al-A`raf, 24th Jumada al-Akhirah 1436.

After telling us the story of Adam, Hawa and Iblis, Allah calls upon us to learn a lesson from the story. He says:

O Children of Adam, do not allow the Devil to seduce you.[1]

We should thus be wary of the Devil and take measures to protect ourselves from him. When thoughts enter our minds, we should ask whether they are of satanic origin or angelic origin. When you remember Allah, promptings of angelic origin are strengthened, whereas promptings of satanic origin are weakened.

We find the Muslims busying themselves with perceived enemies, fighting each over the material world. Meanwhile they neglect the enemy that Allah has informed them of:

Truly the Devil is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy.[2]

Had they been aware of the Devil, he would not have been able to stir up this hatred and enmity between them.

He is more of a threat because he sees us and we do not see him. We should thus seek refuge in the One who sees both us and the Devil constantly. As long as you are aware that your Lord sees you then the fact that the devil can see you will not harm you. Allah out of His mercy showed us how to seek His assistance and seek refuge in Him.

Imam Muhammad bin Wasi` would often make a supplication which Allah inspired him to compose. The Devil came to him and said:

“Every time I try to approach you I find a barrier in my way. What is the supplication that you make?”

“I say: O Allah, You have given an enemy power over us who sees our faults and who is aware of our weaknesses. He and his tribe see us from whence we see them not. O Allah, make him give up hope of harming us, just as You have made him give up hope of receiving Your mercy; make him despair of harming us just as You have made him despair of receiving Your pardon. Distance him from us just as You have distanced him from Paradise.”

اللَّهُمَّ إنَّكَ سَلَّطْتَ عَلَيْنَا عَدُوَّاً بَصِيرًا بِعُيُوبِنَا، مُطَّلِعًا عَلَى عَوْرَاتِنَا، يَرَانَا هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيثُ لا نَرَاهُم ، اللَّهُمَّ فَآيِسْهُ مِنَّا كَمَا آيَسْتَهُ مِنْ رَحْمَتِك ، وَقَنِّطْهُ مِنَّا كَمَا قَنَّطْتَهُ مِنْ عَفْوِكَ ، وَبَاعِدْ بَينَنَا وَبَينَهُ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَينَهُ وَبَين جَنَّتِك.

The devil said to him:

“I promise to never approach you again if you promise not to teach anyone this prayer.”

Muhammad bin Wasi` responded:

“No, O enemy of Allah! I will teach it to as many people as I can!”

***

[1] Al-A`raf, 7:27

[2] Fatir, 35:6

Dealing with Unpleasant Things

 Habib `Abdullah bin Husayn bin Tahir (may Allah have mercy on him and benefit us by him) wrote the following piece of advice to help people deal with the oppression and turmoil that was taking place in Hadramawt at the time. His advice remains relevant to the times in which we are living.

It is rare in this time to find peace of mind and comfort. Worries, concerns and distractions are numerous. A person must be content and tranquil in the face of these things. He must surrender (to Allah’s decree) and not be dissatisfied. He must not seek to rid himself of these things through his own strength and efforts, for this will merely lead to other worries and concerns greater than the ones he had before doing so. This is due to his bad etiquette with his Lord, since he wished to bring about something which Allah did not wish to come about.

Our Master, Habib `Abdullah bin `Alawi al-Haddad (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

و إذا الحوادث أظلمت و تنكرت فاسكن و إياك و التحرك و الحذر

‘When events cause darkness and confusion, be still and beware of moving.’

When things change and become confusing and worrying, it is only appropriate that the slave remains quiet and tranquil and maintains etiquette with Allah.

He should not move outwardly by seeking to drown his sorrows in worldly distractions and he should not move inwardly by disapproving of Allah and His decree with his heart or his tongue.

Rather, he should look at the thing which is displeasing to him. If it is something which has come about at the hands of people, such as robbery, terror, or harm, he must condemn it with his heart and his tongue, and use his hand to change it if he is able to do so (as is mentioned in the books of jurisprudence).

At the same time, he must be content with it and accept it from the perspective that it has come about by Allah’s will. He must seek forgiveness in abundance, plead with Allah in a state of neediness and brokenness (for the harm to be removed) and repent to Allah from all wrongdoings.

If it is something which has not come about at the hands of people such as illness or a natural disaster then his only option is to be content with it and accept it. He must also seek forgiveness and pray to Allah as we mentioned and also show mercy and love to people.

O Allah, save us from Your tribulations, be gentle to us in Your decree and give us that which You have given to Your chosen slaves in well-being and safety, for You have power over all things. May prayers and peace be upon our Master Muhammad and his Family and Companions. All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

On Removing Love of Dunya

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

  • What can I do to remove my love of the Dunya? What can I read to stop me being overly concerned with pleasing people?

Recite this 40 times a day:

يا حَيُّ قَيُّومُ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

Ya Hayyu ya Qayyumu la ilaha illa anta

O Living, O Self-Existing there is no deity save You

 

Recite this verse 100 times a day:

هُوَ اللهُ الَّذي لا إِلهَ إِلا هو عَالِمُ الغَيْبِ والشَّهادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيم

Huw’Allahu’lladhi la ilaha illa hu, ‘Alimu’l ghaybi wash-shahadah, Hu arrahmanu’ rahim

He is Allah, there is no deity save Him, Knower of the unseen and the seen, He is the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.[1]

 

Recite the du`a of Imam al-Haddad several times a day:[2]

اللَّهُمَّ أَخْرِجْ مِنْ قَلْبِي كُلَّ قَدْرٍ لِلدُّنْيَا، وَكُلَّ مَحَلٍّ لِلْخَلْقِ؛ يَمِيْلُ بِي إِلَى مَعْصِيَتِك، أَوْ يُشْغِلُنِي عَنْ طَاعَتِك، أَوْ يَحُولُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ التَّحَقُّقِ بِمَعْرِفَتِكَ الْخَاصَّة، وَمَحَبَّتِكَ الْخَالِصَة

Allahumma akhrij min qalbi kulla qadrin liddunya wa kulla mahallin lilkhalq yamilu bi ila ma`siyatik aw yushghiluni `an ta`atik aw yahulu bayni wa bayna’ttahaqquq bi ma`rifatika al-khassah wa mahabbitaka’l-khalisah

O Allah, remove from my heart any love for the material world and any status I may afford to people which cause me to disobey You or distract me from worshipping You or come between me and attaining special knowledge of You and sincere love for You.

 

[1] Al-Hashr, 59:22

[2] In the Khulasah, Habib Umar suggests reciting it after every prayer

Preparing to Meet Allah by Guarding our Sight, Hearing and Speech

Taken from a Friday khutbah by Sayyidi Habib `Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)  at Masjid Nur Muhammad in Jakarta, Indonesia, on November 14, 2014.

Khutbah Jumu`ah, Masjid Nur Muhammad, Kemang, 2014

 

We must guard our sight, our hearing and our speech. If we do so our hearts will be protected and we will attain uprightness. When we look at, listen to or talk about that which does not concern us we are at odds with our fitrah, the state in which Allah created us.

Allah says: “Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (Q 17:36)

Do not let the enemies of Allah control your sight, your hearing and your speech to the point that they dictate what takes place in our households, to the point that what we see, hear, and say goes against the laws of Allah the teachings of our Prophet ﷺ . Allah says: “If you obey most of those on the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way.” (Q 6:116)

 

Our Sight

We should use our sight to gaze upon the pious with love and longing. We should use our ability to see to gaze upon Allah’s creation and reflect upon it. If we disobey Allah with our eyes we may be deprived of the vision of Allah Most High.

 

Our Hearing

The believers are those that only listen to that which benefits them. Allah says: “When they hear idle talk they turn aside from it and say: ‘We shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds; peace be on you, we do not desire the ignorant.’” (Q 28:55)

Lend your ears only to the sayings of the Companions of Allah, the sayings of the Prophets, and of our Prophet Muhammad, for doing so will prepare us for the ultimate communion with Allah on the Day of Judgment.

 

Our Speech

Remember that wherever we are, Allah is with us. When four people convene, the fifth is Allah. When six people convene, the seventh is Allah. He knows what takes place between them. He knows what is being said and He knows still what is kept hidden.

On the Day of Judgment, Allah will call upon His servants and commune with them, but there will be some people who have incurred Allah’s wrath and will not be called upon by Him, and we seek refuge in Allah from this.

On this day (Friday) have we recited the Qur’an and heard it being recited? Have we recited Surah al-Kahf?  How many times have we bestowed prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ?

Use your hearing, sight, and speech, only for things that please Allah Most High.

We ask Allah to rectify the state of the Muslims.

On Preventing Excessive Use of the Internet and Mobile Devices

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

How can we prevent excessive use of the Internet and mobile devices?

This can be done by focusing the heart on remembrance and reflection. You should remember Allah until His remembrance dominates your heart. You should reflect upon the life of the Prophet ﷺ. This engenders a longing to be in his company and a longing to meet him. You should also avoid keeping the company of those who spend a lot of time using the internet.

Our use of mobile devices must be governed by taqwa, knowledge and intelligence. We must use them in the best way, be in complete control of them and avoid any evil that their use may entail. Making light of a small part of evil leads to a great amount of evil. By using them correctly we are supporting the cause of Allah. One of the first manifestations of victory is in our use of these devices. This is related to our victory in our use of our limbs which points to a victory in our battle with our lower selves. Anyone who is in control of their body and lower self will receive assistance from Allah. Allah says: If you assist Allah, He will assist you and make your feet firm.[1] He also says: Allah will truly assist whoever assists Him.[2] Allah then mentions the signs of those who assist Him: they are those who establish the prayer, pay zakat, enjoin good and forbid evil.

 

[1] Muhammad, 47:7

[2] Al-Hajj, 22:40

The Ummah’s Golden Calf

Advice from Habib Muhammad al-Haddar (may Allah have mercy upon him and benefit us by him). 

Look at how the businessmen in Makkah and Jeddah have mastered their trade. They plaster their advertisements everywhere! If only these billboards clarified the rites of the Hajj and the etiquettes of entering Makkah! These advertisements are proof of their love of material things.

Truly the Messenger of Allah ﷺ told the truth! One day he recounted to his Companions the story of the people of Musa who, after being saved from Fir`awn, began worshipping the golden calf. The Companions were astounded that after receiving these signs these people lowered themselves to such a level. The Prophet told them not to be surprised.

He told them:

“Every nation has its (golden) calf, and the calf of my nation is gold and silver.”

They will worship material things, all their ambitions will be focused on attaining material things and they will travel and attain qualifications for worldly gain.

To Allah we belong and to Him we will return!

[We wonder what Habib Muhammad would have said if he had seen the state of Makkah today!]